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Policy Manual

Meal and Rest Breaks

This policy applies only to weekly-paid staff members on hourly compensation plans (i.e., in non-exempt positions).

Staff members who are at least 18 years of age are not required by law to receive breaks during the workday. Staff members who are minors (ages 14-17) must receive a 30-minute break if they work for five or more consecutive hours.

Supervisors are to inform staff members of whether breaks will be provided, the length of any breaks, and when breaks should be taken.

If a break is provided for lunch or another meal, the meal break will be unpaid, provided that it is at least 30 consecutive minutes in length. Staff members may not perform any work during an unpaid meal break.

  • If a staff member is provided a 30-minute meal break and the staff member performs any work during the meal break, then the staff member will be paid for the entire 30 minutes.
  • If a staff member’s meal break is more than 30 minutes, and he/she performs some work during the meal break, but is able to enjoy 30 consecutive minutes of non-work time, then the staff member will not be paid for the 30 or more consecutive minutes of non-work time, but will be paid for the remainder of the time.

A staff member may not work during his/her meal breaks unless the work is authorized in advance by the staff member’s supervisor. In such cases, the staff member will be paid for such work time; it is the responsibility of the staff member to ensure that this work time is entered into Workday (Time Tracking). If a staff member works during an unpaid meal break without prior authorization, the staff member will be paid for this work time but may be subject to discipline.

If rest breaks are provided, staff members will be paid for these breaks, and should include them as time worked when entering time into Workday (see Work Schedules - Policy 601). Typically, rest breaks last between five and 20 minutes.  Where a rest break lasts at least 30 minutes, the time may be unpaid.

Consistent with the Time Reporting policy, staff members who take a meal or other break that is at least 30 consecutive, uninterrupted minutes must record the break in Workday by entering the time they stopped working to begin the break, as well as the time they began work again following the meal break.  Staff members should not record in Workday any meal or other breaks that are less than 30 consecutive minutes in length.  Rather, any break that is less than 30 consecutive minutes should be treated as working time and should not be recorded.

University staff members covered by collective bargaining agreements should refer to the appropriate articles in their contracts.


Policy Number: 309
Effective Date: 01/23/2015
Last Reviewed Date: 06/05/2019
Revised Date:  07/01/2019
Supersedes Policy Number(s): N/A
Applicability:  All Staff Members in Non-Exempt Positions
Cross-reference: Work Schedules - Policy 601

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